Portland: Friday qualifying summary

Breuers dominates provisional qualifying. (PORTLAND, Ore.) June 14, 2002- Marc Breuers is off to a fast start at Portland International Raceway, leading the first Barber Dodge Pro Series practice session and following through to take the ...

Breuers dominates provisional qualifying.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) June 14, 2002- Marc Breuers is off to a fast start at Portland International Raceway, leading the first Barber Dodge Pro Series practice session and following through to take the provisional pole in Friday's qualifying session with a fast lap time of 1.14.968 sec. Christian Szymczak of Oakland, Calif. and A.J. Allmendinger of Hollister, Calif. qualified second and third respectively, with Dan Di Leo of Markham, Ontario and Leo Maia rounding out the Top-5.

Most of the field is learning the fast way around the track together, as many of the drivers are racing at P.I.R. for the first time. As a result, the Barber Dodge field is even more competitive than usual, with the top-17 competitors separated by just one second over the 1.969-mile track.

Breuers started the qualifying session where he had ended the practice session, at the top with a fast lap putting him at the head of the sheets only minutes into the session. The times began to drop as the session went on owing to the increased grip on offer from the Michelins, and Breuers was always the fastest driver, breaking into the 1.17 sec. range, :16 range, :15 range before anyone else, and he was the only driver to manage a lap under 1:15.000 sec.

"I felt really comfortable right away," said Breuers. "This track really does suit my driving style. It rewards patience and smoothness, so that has helped me set some fast times so far this weekend. I was hoping to knock a little more time off, but the track lost grip as the session went on, so I will have to give it another shot tomorrow. I would love to get that second point."

Szymczak qualified second, his best-ever Barber Dodge Pro Series qualifiying result. Like Breuers, he is also enjoying his first visit to the Portland track, and thinks that his second season in Barber Dodge is making for a smarter, smoother driver.

"I think I have been improving because I have been driving smoothly," said Szymczak "and less driving hard, and this track really rewards you for that."

Championship points leader Allmendinger spent most of the session mired in the middle of the sheets until late in the session, when he was able to get some clean laps in to take the third spot.

"Well, I was obviously hoping to set a faster time earlier in the session, but I wasn't able to do that with the traffic. I was glad to get a couple of good clean laps in to hit my marks and make the most of it. Starting in the first two rows is really key, so I am glad to be at least third so far. The track should be faster tomorrow, so I will be taking another shot at the pole," said Allmendinger

Seventh quickest behind Di Leo and Maia was Canadian Josh Beaulieu followed by Memo Rojas' Telmex backed machine in eighth. Josh Rehm in ninth and Julio Campos rounded out the fastest-ten qualifiers for the provisional session.

The field of 22 will have another opportunity to take the second championship point during the second qualifying session on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Results and live timing and scoring will be posted at www.barberdodge.com.

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About this article
Series Barber Pro
Drivers Josh Beaulieu , Julio Campos , Memo Rojas , A.J. Allmendinger , Marc Breuers